Lady Lancers suffer fourth-quarter collapse

MOUNT VERNON, Ohio – Grace’s women’s basketball team was unable to finish off a road win at Mt. Vernon Nazarene on Tuesday.

The Lady Lancers (3-7, 0-2 Crossroads League) led by nine in the fourth quarter, but a late collapse unraveled the visitors. Grace was outscored 26-8 in the final period en route to a 72-61 defeat.

Grace led 18-15 after the first quarter thanks to outside marksmanship. Brooke Sugg buried two 3-pointers, and Lexi Minix hit another to propel Grace on top. Sugg ripped off 10 points in the opening stanza.

The lead changed hands several times in the second quarter, but eight straight points from Grace changed momentum. Sugg and Minix hit back-to-back triples in a 35-second span to put the Lady Lancers ahead by seven.

The surge helped Grace to a 37-32 halftime lead despite the Cougars (6-3, 1-1 CL) making 56 percent from the floor as a team.

Sugg’s big evening continued with another triple to start the second half, and the Lady Lancers maintained a comfortable lead throughout the third quarter. MVNU trailed 53-46 entering the final 10 minutes.

Kyannah Stull grabbed an offensive rebound and scored in the paint to give the Lady Lancers a nine-point lead with 9:35 remaining, but the Cougars had a comeback up their sleeves.

Grace struggled offensively down the stretch which gave MVNU a shot. The Lady Lancers led 56-51 with eight minutes to play, but Grace produced only five points over the final eight minutes.

The Cougars sped away for an 11-point win, ending the game on a 21-5 run.

Sugg was Grace’s most consistent source of offense, scoring 22 points on 9-of-15 shooting and 4-of-6 from beyond the arc.

Kelsie Peterson added 12 points with four rebounds before fouling out, and Myriah Hoffman and Minix scored six points apiece.
Grace shot 38 percent as a team, including 26 percent in the second half. Defensively, Grace forced MVNU into 21 turnovers thanks to 12 steals. Stull led all players with three steals.

The Lady Lancers end the week on Saturday, playing at rival Bethel at 1 p.m. as part of a women’s/men’s doubleheader.